Reliance Jio and Paytm on Friday apologised for using images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in advertisements without seeking prior permission from the government.
Both companies had been sent notices asking them to explain why they ignored guidelines that prohibit employing the PM’s name and picture for commercial gain.
A written warning was sent by Consumer Affairs Ministry which stated that penalties could apply to them both.
In September 2016, Reliance Jio, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, had through its ads, dedicated its 4G service to the Modi government’s flagship Digital India project. Full-page “Reliance Jio: Digital Life” advertisements were published with a photograph of Mr Modi.
Then, in November, when the PM announced his demonetisation drive, Paytm ran similar ads welcoming the move which led to an immediate surge in digital wallets.